What exactly will it take for Bank of America’s board to fire CEO Ken Lewis? Embezzlement? A criminal indictment?
Ken Lewis’s acquisition decisions are almost singlehandedly responsible for bludgeoning Bank of America’s stock from the mid-$30s to $7. Three months ago, Lewis spent $50 billion on a firm that was actually worth zero, a firm that lost $15 billion in the fourth quarter alone (and $40 billion over the past year). Yesterday, US taxpayers learned that they had just been forced to give Ken Lewis another $20 billion of capital and $100 billion of crap asset guarantees just to keep his dying elephant alive.
And Ken Lewis still hasn’t been fired!
Can you imagine doing this bad a job and not getting fired?
An admirable leader, of course, would have immediately accepted responsibility and resigned. Ken Lewis had an excellent opportunity to do this on yesterday’s earnings call. Instead, he blamed the markets and said he bought Merrill not for Bank of America shareholders but for the good of the country (thanks, pal).
Given that Ken Lewis apparently still thinks he’s doing a helluva job, it’s the board’s job to fire him.
So when, exactly, is the board going to do that? After the stock goes to zero?
See Also: Ken Lewis Should Be Fired